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Koreanspice Viburnum (Viburnum Carlesii) Profile

Written by Iris

Aug 17 2021

Koreanspice Viburnum (Viburnum Carlesii) Profile
The most striking feature of Koreanspice Viburnum (Viburnum Carlesii) is the heady, fragrant white flowers that cover the shrubs in spring. The pink to red sprouted white flowers have a pink blush and the leaves are a dull dark green, turning a brilliant Burgundy in autumn. Viburnum carlesii is an excellent choice for specimens, bush edges and base plants.

Koreanspice viburnum Picture

 Koreanspice viburnum

Koreanspice viburnum Info

Botanical Name Viburnum carlesii
Common Name Korean spicebush
Plant Type Deciduous flowering shrub
Mature Size 6 feet tall and wide
Sun Exposure Full sun to part shade
Soil Type Moist, well-drained
Soil pH 5.6 to 6.6 (acidic to neutral)
Bloom Time Spring

Koreanspice viburnum Ecological Habits

Koreanspice viburnum (Viburnum carlesii) is hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture horticultural zones 5 through 9. Depending on the cultivar, this moderate grower can reach from 4 to 6 feet high and 4 to 6 feet wide. In spring, it produces large clusters of pink or white flowers that exude a spicy, clovelike fragrance. Like many other viburnums, the flowers transform into showy red fruits that attract birds, making this shrub useful for planting in a wildlife garden. Apart from the vivid red berries, Koreanspice viburnum continues to put on a show in autumn, when its foliage turns to shades of red and orange.

Koreanspice viburnum Distribution

Knowing your plant's native region is very useful, as it can give you tips on which environment is best for your Korean Spice Viburnum. If you keep it in mind, you can try to replicate these conditions at home, and you’ll likely end with a healthier plant.
With this in mind, the Viburnum Carlesii will be most used to the heat zones in the 4 – 8 region, as the plant hardiness level falls between 4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a and the ideal climate zone is between 2B, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, A3.
Koreanspice viburnum

How to Grow and Care for Koreanspice viburnum

How to Grow Koreanspice viburnum

Softwood cuttings will give you the best success rate when trying to propagate Viburnum carlesii and cuttings are taken in spring from the new growth. Cuttings will root quickly and be ready for potting on into larger pots in mid-summer, if not over-winter until the following season.
Take a cutting from the newest fresh growth around 4 inch (10cm) long, remove the lower leaves and take a fresh cut just below the node (where the leaves are). This is where the new roots should shoot, pinch the top out and dip in rooting powder to help promote root growth. Make a hole in the compost which should be 50% seed compost and 50% grit sand and insert the cutting. Tap the sides to settle the compost and water well. Ideally you want to place in a propagator with bottom heat. Softwood cuttings root quickly so it should not be too long before they are ready to pot on.
Koreanspice viburnum

How to Care for Koreanspice viburnum

  • Light
In terms of light & exposure, the Korean Spice Viburnum requires partial to full sun in order for it to thrive under the right conditions. Most experts agree that this shrub will do well as long as you keep it in partial to full sun, and it will be able to grow properly. Specifically, we recommend that you place your Viburnum Carlesii in little to partial shade (only 2-6 hours of direct sunlight a day), to full and direct sun (more 6 hours of direct sunlight per day).
  • Soil
These bushes grow best in the moist but well-drained ground with slightly acidic a soil pH. They do not do well in very wet soil.
  • Water
When you first plant viburnums, water every 1 or 2 days, whenever the top inch of soil is dry. Hold the hose near the root ball and make sure the root zone is thoroughly soaked at each watering. You’ll be able to gradually increase the days between watering as the plants establish roots. Once viburnums have been in the ground for a year, they’ll mainly need extra water if your area has gone without rain for 3 to 4 weeks. Keep an eye on the plants during such dry spells. If the leaves look droopy or have a greyish cast to them, water them until regular precipitation returns.
  • Temperature and Humidity
Viburnums are generally tolerant of high heat but do best with some shade during the hottest periods of summer. They prefer humid climates, but will tolerate dry conditions.
  • Fertilizer
Feed the shrub with a general-purpose fertilizer, according to product directions, before it begins putting out new growth in the spring. Check the product's label for the amount of nitrogen; shrubs can receive 2 to 4 pounds of nitrogen for every 1,000 square feet of root spread annually.
  • Pruning
Control the shape and size of mature shrubs by heading back stems to a leaf junction, pruning to achieve a pleasing shape after the plant has flowered. Perform only minor pruning on young plants to keep them looking neat by removing the finished flowers, snipping them off with sharp pruning shears.
Koreanspice viburnum

Uses of Koreanspice viburnum

Viburnum shrubs are attractive to pollinators including bees and butterflies. So they can be an asset to your landscape for that reason.
Korean spice Viburnum provides any landscape with a sweet, spicy fragrance in the spring. It is a treat in the early spring to remind you of the joys of spring and summer. It is also a beautiful shrub that provides privacy to a lawn and due to the size, it can provide some protection within a larger windbreak. So the next time you look for a shrub for a specimen plant or to place in a windbreak or other border, choose one that also provides beauty and interest, choose Korean spice Viburnum.

Varieties of Koreanspice viburnum

Several varieties of Korean spice viburnum are available, some of which are cultivars, others that are crosses between V.carlesiii and other species:
Koreanspice viburnum'Aurora' is a slower-growing rounded shrub that generally stays around 4 to 5 feet in height.
Koreanspice viburnum‘Compactum’ is a smaller variety of Korean spice viburnum that grows 2 1/2 to 4 feet tall and wide with flowers colored the same as the pure species, white.
Koreanspice viburnum'Spice Bouquet' is a 4 to 6-foot shrub with soft pink flowers that fade to white.
Koreanspice viburnum'Spice Island' is 3 to 5 feet tall with white flowers, and dark green leaves with good red fall color.
Koreanspice viburnum 'Sugar N' Spice' is 4 to 5 feet high with dark green leaves that turn maroon-red in fall.
Viburnum × carlcephalum is a cross between V. carlesii and V. macrocephalum var. keteleeri. It has large snow-ball-like flowers, and is hardy in zones 6 to 8. It grows 6 to 10 feet tall.
Viburnum x burkwoodii (Burkwood vibernum) is a cross between V. utile and V. carlesii. It is a broad, dense shrub reaching 8 to 10 feet, with flat-topped white flowers blooming in April.

Koreanspice viburnum Common Pests/Diseases

One problem you may encounter when taking care of this plant is the curly leaves at the tips of the branches. The most likely culprit is aphids. If you manage to catch them at the event, spray them with organic neem oil. But the aphids come and go quickly, leaving behind a damaged leaf. Fortunately, leaf rolling doesn't cause long-term damage if it's limited to a small part of the entire plant. It is problematic only on an aesthetic level, ruining the appearance of the leaves in summer and fall. Prune the tips of the affected branches and dispose of them properly, and the plant will not be worse off as a result.
Koreanspice viburnum

Koreanspice viburnum Design Tips

With all the variation and seasonal interest that viburnums bring to the garden, the uses are nearly endless.
Suitable for a woodland garden or mixed border.
Create a year-round focal point with the changing colors and blooms.
Plant a row of upright varieties to create an impressive hedge.
Use dwarf or more compact types, like dwarf cranberry bush, for container plantings.

Koreanspice viburnum Companion Plants

Choose Koreanspice viburnum companion plants with contrasting foliage, such as evergreen ferns. (Or, for a winter garden, pair with other early bloomers like crocuses and pansies.) Because viburnum doesn't self-pollinate regularly, plant several viburnum shrubs near each other.